‘Horror show’: 38 puppies die on plane
Canadian authorities are investigating after 38 French bulldog puppies arrived dead at Toronto Pearson Airport earlier this month.
At least 500 French bulldogs were on the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight, with many of them sick when arriving at the airport on Saturday, June 13 (local time), according to the CFIA, a federal agency that is responsible for regulating the importation of animals into Canada.
"Upon arrival, many of the dogs were suffering from dehydration, weakness and/or vomiting," a CFIA spokesperson said Friday.
"CFIA officials are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident and will determine next steps once the investigation is complete."
Dog handler Abby Lorenzen, who was picking up a different animal from the airport cargo area where the puppies were discovered, told CBC the scene looked like a "horror show", adding: "It was a nightmare."
Ukraine International Airlines released a statement on social media on Friday, offering condolences for the "tragic loss of animal life" on its flight.
"UIA is working with local authorities to determine what happened and to make any changes necessary to prevent such a situation from occurring again," the Facebook post read.
Footage claiming to show the animals in crates in Kyiv has been shared on social media - with reports suggesting it was 33C at the time the animals were loaded.
Scott Weese of the University of Guelph told CBC that French bulldogs are a popular breed in Canada and that puppy sales are "lucrative" in the country.
He added that there was "potentially some organised crime component" related to the incident.
Speaking about the amount of bulldogs that were on the plane he added: "If those are going for sale at $CA3000 to $CA4000 ($A3200 to $A4300) a dog, that's a massive amount of money."
This article originally appeared on the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as 'Horror show': 38 puppies die on plane